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About The AdWords Auction


AdWords works through an auction model whereby advertisers are first assigned an Ad Rank to establish their position in the auction.  The a second step takes place where the cost per click is determined.


How it works

Ad Rank is determined by:


Quality Score X Max CPC (bid) = Ad Rank



Advertiser A - Max CPC of .55 and Quality Score of 1.7 = assigned Ad Rank .93   = position 1

Advertiser B - Max CPC of .65 and Quality Score of 1 = assigned Ad Rank  .65    = position 2

Advertiser C - Max CPC of .30 and Quality Score of 1.5 = assigned Ad Rank .45    = position 3


There is then a second step where the actual cost per click is determined.  This is done by taking your Ad Rank and dividing it by the Quality score of the advertiser ranked above you.



Advertisers B  - Ad Rank of .65 divide it by A’s Quality Score of 1.7 – .65 / 1.7 = .3823529 or .38 cents.


.38 is what Advertiser A has to pay + 1 cent to cover the higher position over Advertiser B for a total of .39 cents.


Take C’s rank of .45 and divide it by B’s Quality Score – .45 / 1 = .45 cents.


.45 is what Advertiser B has to pay + 1 cent to place it above C’s position for a total of .46 cents


This process repeats until the end of the auction where the last bidder pays the minimum bid required to be active in the action.



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Contributed by: +Kim Clinkunbroomer

about Kim Clinkunbroomer

Owner, Clink Digital Marketing, Google Partner, AdWords Top Contributor 2006 to present. Our goal is to provide our Clients with the highest level of service to help reach their goals and grow their businesses. Contact: kim@clinkdigitalmarketing.com 847-361-3057 http://www.clinkdigitalmarketing.com

October 2012

Hi kim,


Good Formula, but please make your Picture big, if you can.


Max CPC of .55 and Quality Score of 1.7 = assigned Ad Rank .93   = position 1


What if i have Max CPC of $5 and Quality Score of 10 = assigned Ad Rank 50 = position??


Thanks and Regards,


Kim_Clink Top Contributor
October 2012

Thanks for the question Vijay.


The position would depend on the advertisers around you - what their quality score and max bid was.   So a 10/10 with a $5.00 bid may not always be position #1 if another advertiser is bidding more.